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Teach Your Child How to Set Goals

Every year children are whisked off to school on the very first day to, more or less, learn about the coming year; what they will be learning that year, how they will be taught, what is expected of them, and the goals of the classroom as a group.

Goals are simple, they’re not complex, and that is the goal of this piece. Goals are made multifaceted by the world we live in; they are made to be something that will “someday Ebe obtained. This is an inaccuracy these are actually long-term goals. If you asked just three people, what are your goals? They will probably tell you of something they are reaching for that could take years, even a decade. Because of this complexity, society has added the word “short-term” to “goals” just to clarify the difference.

With children simple is better, of course, therefore we will be discussing short-term goals throughout this piece, because when children learn the simple things the complex stuff just won’t seem so complex anymore. And the more adequate they are to develop short-term goals the simpler it will be for them to set out, develop and obtain short term goals.

Preschool
Preschoolers, although they are not overwhelmed with school schedules, homework and school related activities, can set up goals that can be reached in the house. By giving children tiny little goals, “Right now our goal is to get dressed and get ready for the day.”  Breaking goals up into everyday activities will teach children a goal setting routine. Once they have completed each task give them a small celebration, even if it’s just “Great job, you completed that goal well.”

You don’t have to stop at the dressing routine, you can continue on with other simple daily goals, “what do you want to do today? What is your goal for today? EReinforce the thought of what someone one wants to do is actually a goal. Although not everything we want can be a goal, it has to be something we can actually obtain ourselves. Like if someone wants to live forever or their parents to live forever there is actually nothing we can do to obtain these goals. Therefore, living forever is a wish but is not actually a goal.

Main points to address:

  • Set small daily goals with your child.
  • Reinforce the thought that what someone wants to do is actually a goal.

Grades K-3rd
When your children get to this age group, it is a good time to go over with them the ability to set realistic goals, develop an outline for those plans and oversee your child’s progress on those projects. The outline can be as simple or as complex as your child’s age and maturity, but it should give them a better understanding of developing their goals.

The outline should include the goal, the timeframe of the goal and ways to complete it. Let’s say they have a project to do for school. The goal would be to complete the project in sufficient time. How to obtain the goal will be to break the project up into smaller “short-term Egoals. Say the project is a state research report. The first goal is to get the research material, the second will be to write an outline, the third to write a first draft, the fourth to write the report, the fifth goal will be to edit and fact check, and the final will be to fix the report or rewrite from the errors.

Be sure to check with your child for progress and encouragement, but allow your child to complete these goals without “holding their hand Ethroughout.

Main points to address:

  • Go over an outline with your children.
  • Check your child’s progress consistently.

Grades 4th-6th
This is a great age group to teach about the difference of short-term goals and long-term goals. Short-term goals are goals that can be accomplished in a short time limit. While long-term goals can take months to many years to accomplish, just as your child’s desired occupation when they grow up would be considered a long-term goal.

Have your child create a long-term goal, that can either be obtained in the next few months or a year. Whether that is to improve on various subjects in school or better themselves in a sport or learn a new language. Whatever their goal may be have them write a goal plan, similar to a goal outline, but a goal plan also includes resources and ways to achieve their goal. Moreover, it is encouraged to talk to your children and have them add setbacks that can occur while obtaining your goals in their plan. These setbacks can be disruptive to the overall plan of the goal, therefore creating plans for dealing with setbacks should be included with your child’s goal plan.

Identifying their goal, developing a plan and creating an action plan for those goals will help them to obtain their goal and will encourage them to use goals for future success throughout their lives.

Main points to address:

  • Teach your children about long-term and short-term goals.
  • Consider the setbacks of the goals and outline different ways of dealing with them.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

Posted in Character.

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